Friday 15 July 2016

Reviewed: Falling by Julie Cohen

TITLE: Falling
AUTHOR: Julie Cohen
PUBLISHER: Black Swan (Transworld)


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Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s could bring her love - or the loss of everything that matters to her.

Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.

Can they save each other from falling?

I’m feeling incredibly bereft now I’ve finished reading this book. Picking up a Julie Cohen book is always a real treat and Falling was no exception. The writing is honest, sensitive and emotionally drawn. The three strands of the story are intricately and beautifully linked. The entire course of the novel is highly compelling, willing just one more chapter until the pages wear thin. Falling is another Julie Cohen stunner.

The book focuses on three generations of a family; Jo, single mother to three children; Lydia, Jo’s teenage daughter; and Honor, Lydia’s grandmother. Each woman is conflicted. Each one of them has a secret that they’re trying to cling on to. Each one of them is engaging and intriguing and I felt for them all throughout the story. It was made so easy to become invested in the lives of Jo, Honor and Lydia and their multi-layered characters were relevant and believable – genuine women who had flaws and made mistakes and kept secrets but truly deserving of real happiness and fulfilment.

Jo is mum to Lydia, Oscar and Iris. The chapter we meet Jo in, as she’s battling a bus journey with her two youngest, really well defined her role in life and the stage she was at. It was the perfect introduction to Jo and I cared for her character instantly and despite being closer to Lydia’s age, it was Jo I connected with the most throughout this book. She’s a lovely person and was so kind to everyone, even those who probably didn’t deserve it. This had me rooting for her even more.

Honor is far blunter and off-hand than Jo, with not much left in the way of family or friends, and not much effort put in on her part to change that. Even though Honor was a far more guarded character, she made me laugh throughout. From the moment she takes a fall and breaks her hip, the way she interacted with the medical staff, the way she interacted with Jo and her children a bit later in the book, in fact the way Honor’s dialogue was written from beginning to end was really entertaining and I found her secret the most surprising and fascinating.

Lydia’s secret is evident from the start. We get a different insight into her character with the addition of her own diary entries which were realistically written and pretty moving at times. My heart went out to Lydia several times when reading this book and on occasion turned me into quite the emotional wreck.

To review any further the events that happen in this book would take away the magic of discovering this special story for yourself. Falling is a joy to read and had me working through a range of emotions and feelings – laughing one minute, surprised the next, on the verge of tears a moment later. One thing that remained throughout was how I was glued to the pages, eager to carry on reading and discover more, as spending time with the characters in this book felt thoroughly rewarding and satisfying.

The title of this novel, previously called The Day of Second Chances, perfectly represents the plot. The theme of ‘Falling’ is a recurring one throughout the book and contributes to the stand out aspects of the story. The book involves ‘falling’ in its many forms and each one felt apt and significant. The new (gorgeous) cover of this book is also spot-on – not something I would normally review but I just feel the whole package of this book has been beautifully presented and does real justice for Julie’s equally beautiful story inside.

Julie writes with such warmth and emotional depth – the story is powerful because it is heartfelt and I truly felt every single moment of this novel. Her writing is sincere, touching and purely captivating, and Falling is a really wonderful read, a novel I found impossible to put down.

1 comment:

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